PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The Grim Reaper returned Friday to Northwest Florida beaches. This time he was at Pensacola Beach.
Daniel W. Uhlfelder, a lawyer and resident in Walton County, launched his “Grim Reaper Beach Tour” last Friday. The tour is aimed at protesting the reopening of Florida beaches and what Uhlfelder believes is a lack of action from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Uhlfelder believes DeSantis should have taken statewide action to close the beaches during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I had someone ask me the other day, “Well, when are you going to stop wearing the grim reaper (costume)?’” Uhlfelder said Friday. “My mother is in her 70s. She just had her birthday, and my kids did not hug her on her birthday. I will take my grim reaper suit off when I’m comfortable enough for my children to hug their grandmother.”
Last week at Miramar Beach, Uhlfelder faced hostile reactions from beach goers.
Fewer people were angry at the grim reaper’s presence Friday at Pensacola Beach. Many people stopped to take photographs with Uhlfelder and said they respected his right to free speech.
One man, however, dressed as Captain America, said he counter-protested Uhlfelder’s protest by telling him to leave the beach.
“I’m here to say fear has no place here,” he said. “This is America. We have freedom to do what we please; go where we please; and surf as we please.”
Uhlfelder believes the current COVID-19 data is unreliable and there’s not enough testing or health professionals in at least Walton County to deal the the pandemic.
“I fear the worst,” Uhlfelder said last Friday at Miramar Beach. “If by dressing up as the ‘Grim Reaper’ and walking our beaches I can make people think and potentially help save a life, that is the right thing to do.”